I am working on a “Best of 2018” post, but odds are that won’t be posted for a little while. As I was thinking about the songs that defined 2018 for me, two songs in specific came to mind. As mentioned in the post “Woke Up Hurting” in May the lead singer of Frightened Rabbit, Scott Hutchison killed himself. I had already been listening to FRabbits a lot in 2018, but starting in May that went into overdrive. I’ve listened and re-listened to each of their albums many times, but The Midnight Organ Fight has become a favorite. This was the record that launched the band which had started out as a solo project for Hutchison. In 2018 they had begun touring on the 10th anniversary of the album. I had listened to this album before, but it really did not hit home until this year.
The two songs from the record which I have listened to almost once a day (at least) are “Modern Leper” and “Heads Roll Off”. Each of these songs has powerful lyrics (as typical with Hutchison’s writing). They performed them both earlier this year as a part of the MOF tour, and these two are taken from their AV Club Sessions.
A line from “Heads Roll Off” has become the rallying point for fans of FRabbits since Hutchison’s death. It has been heartwarming to hear about the impact Hutchinson has had on other singers and regular folks. Singers continue to honor his legacy, and fans have donated thousands of dollars to mental health organizations in the months since Hutchison passed. Like many of those regular fans, the line also sticks with me and will definitely be a motto for 2019 and beyond.
“While I am alive I’ll make tiny changes to Earth”
I will be the first to admit that the last few months I’ve not been listening to a lot of music or artists that I did not already know. However, I have stumbled on to a few artists who are new to me that I just cannot get enough of. The first such band is ISLAND , an English alternative band. They recently released their first full length record Feels Like Air. The album is fantastic. I first heard of this band while traveling in Ireland this past May. They reminded me a bit of Catfish & The Bottlemen, with a little less volume. Here is “The Day I Die”.
The individuals in this group are not new to me (well 2 out of 3), but together they create an indie sadness super-group! With the collective voices and talents of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus they are boygenius. They combine the best parts of their solo work, and add a little more electricity to this joint work. They only have 6 tracks on their self-titled EP, but they are all fantastic. The best performance besides their amazing Tiny Desk Concert is “Me & My Dog” from The Current.
Nashville based songwriter Phosphorescent was unknown to me prior to this year. I am not sure why as his music is pretty similar to what I often listen to. The song I first heard was “Song for Zula” which a beautiful and sweet song. It was one of my most listened to songs of 2018. His newest record, the 2018 release C’est la vie has been on pretty constant rotation in the last few months. His style ranges from more traditional Americana to a bit more soulful, but his lyrics are always thoughtful.
One of the songs from this new record, “C’est la vie No. 2” is one such song. He was at the Innings Festival this year, but unfortunately I chose to see another act. Hopefully I will get to see him perform in 2019